Back-to-School Health Tips
With children returning to learning in the classroom instead of virtual learning, you may be thinking of how to best support your little one this school year. Break out your new notebook and pens and jot down these tips to help your little one have a safer and healthier year!
Managing Allergies and Other Conditions
Before the school year starts, it’s always a good idea to take a trip to the allergist if your child has been diagnosed with allergies. This way, you can stock up on medications for use at home and at school.
If your child presents themself with a runny nose, a sore throat, itchy eyes, or a cough, use these tips to differentiate between sickness and an allergy attack — and learn when an allergy test may be appropriate.
While you’re at it, now is also a good time to ensure that your child’s emergency contact information and medical history, such as known food allergies, are updated with their school nurse and teachers.
The Annual Physical
It’s back-to-school season which means plenty of shopping and preparation. However, a key part of helping your child get ready for new fun, and exciting year of school is to make sure they’re healthy.
Recommended Ages for a Checkup
Life has become very hectic over the past year or so, with new health guidelines to follow to protect you and your family. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of having an annual physical done before the school year begins.
Even if your child appears to be healthy, the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the following guidelines for pediatric wellness checks:
- From newborn to two: should visit every few months.
- From two to six: should visit annually.
- From 6 on: should visit every one to two years.
Remember that if your child plays sports, they may have to get a physical every year before they’re allowed to start practicing. Be sure to follow your school’s guidelines and contact them if you have any questions.
What Happens at the Physical?
In general, your child’s pediatrician will go over these items during their wellness visit:
- Check their height and weight (BMI).
- Check their blood pressure.
- Give them a screening for mental health conditions.
- Check on habits such as eating, sleeping, and exercise.
- Check their growth and development (signs of puberty).
- Make sure they are up to date on their immunizations.
- Order any additional necessary testing (such as anemia or high cholesterol.)
- Take a physical examination; checking their heart, lungs, and back.
CDC Recommended Vaccine Timeline
Did you know that measles and mumps can potentially cause infertility in men later in life? Or that rubella was once frequently passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn child, with potentially devastating consequences? These are diseases that not only had an effect on the sick child but could also have frightening effects on future children.
Today, immunization keeps harmful diseases from being passed on to the next generation. There are a number of vaccines that the CDC notes are vital to keeping your child healthy from birth to 15 months, including:
- Hepatitis B — 1st dose at birth, 2nd dose at 1-2 months, 3rd dose at 4-15 months.
- Rotavirus — 1st dose at 2 months, 2nd dose at 4 months.
- DTAP — 1st dose at 2 months, 2nd dose at 4 months, 3rd dose at 6 months, 4th dose between 15 through 18 months, and 5th dose between 4 through 6 years.
- Poliovirus — 1st dose at 2 months, 2nd dose at 4 months, 3rd dose at 6 to 15 months.
- Influenza — should be received every year at the start of the flu season.
Note: You should always consult with your child’s doctor to determine the full list of vaccinations appropriate for your child throughout their development years.
Protecting Your Family from Viral Infections
The influenza virus is a very contagious and serious disease that can lead patients to become hospitalized and at times, can lead to death. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to do everything you possibly can to reduce your risks of contracting the flu or any other virus and to help stop the spread.
In addition to getting your annual flu shot, use these tips to keep your child safe.
Though many Americans are fully vaccinated, the threat of COVID-19 still lingers — especially for children who are too young to be vaccinated.
Check on your school’s COVID-19 protocols, and remind your child to practice these helpful tips while at home and at school:
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth and eyes.
- Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs when out in public.
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently, such as counters, doorknobs, and faucets.
Click here for more COVID-19 vaccination and prevention information.
Pediatric Urgent Care in Arlington, TX
At Urgentology Care, we offer a range of pediatric services to help support the health of your children — including annual physicals. You don’t need an appointment, but you can schedule one for today to cut down on waiting time by calling (817) 799-7273 or contacting us online.